Reading the trees in Wadsworth Falls State Park

Lucy Meigs of Durham, CT, says she can identify most trees just by their bark, and on Monday she led a small group through Wadsworth Falls State Park in Middlefield, CT, using all sorts of tree features — from the veins of their leaves to the smell of their roots — to tell them apart. More than anything, the goal of the hike was to get people outside.

“If we don’t keep up our own connection to the outside world, we don’t share it with others,” says the Durham naturalist, who started Everyone Outside three years ago and has received grant funding to get people of all ages to experience and appreciate nature. With support from the Rockfall Foundation, for example, Meigs has been able to work with elementary and middle school students in Middletown, getting them outside for nature walks.

“If they just connect with (nature), have fun with it, that’s the most correlated with environmental stewardship later on,” Meigs said.

Meigs will be doing a show and tell of sorts with some small creatures before and after Story Hour at the Durham Farmer’s Market on Thursday, June 20, starting at 4:00 p.m.

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